Reading books has changed my life. I can point to various books throughout the years that have provided a new idea, a better way of thinking, or significant inspiration.
- I know which books helped me become a better fundraiser.
- I know which books motivated me to become a fundraising consultant.
- And I know exactly which books helped me become a successful business owner.
If you’re not a reader for whatever reason, I highly recommend giving audio books a try. You can listen in the car, on a walk, when you’re preparing dinner, or getting ready for work. You’re never too old to get a new idea or to be inspired.
One Thing: Inspiration from Gary Keller
Currently, I’m reading The One Thing by Gary Keller. It’s an interesting enough book that I’m likely to finish it (my metric for a better-than-average book).
In the book, Keller emphasizes the importance of focusing on one thing to achieve extraordinary results in your work and life. The central concept revolves around the idea that by identifying and prioritizing the most impactful activity, you can maximize your productivity, effectiveness, and overall success.
According to Keller, the “one thing” refers to the most crucial activity or task that, when accomplished, makes everything else easier or unnecessary. By consistently dedicating time and energy to this one essential idea, you can achieve remarkable progress and overcome obstacles you face.
At First, I was Skeptical…
As I read the first half of the book, I wasn’t sure I bought into the concept of “one thing.” But then I had an “ah ha” moment while Andrea and I were having our annual planning retreat. Was it a happy coincidence that I was reading this book while getting ready for a planning retreat? Perhaps.
I’m not going to share my “one thing” epiphany because everyone must determine their own. But I can safely say that I’ve become a true believer in Keller’s concept.
What’s Your One Thing? 4 Questions to Figure it Out
So what’s one thing you can do to start creating impactful change in your work and your life? Let me ask you four questions to get your creative juices flowing.
- What’s one thing you can do to double your fundraising revenue this year? For example — if you ask more, will you raise more?
- What’s one thing you can do to exceed your campaign goal in the next 24 months?
- What’s one thing you can do to improve your health. For example — what’s one thing you can do to lose ten pounds this year?
- What’s one thing you can do to improve your relationship? For example — what’s one thing you can do every day to be kinder to your spouse for the next 60 days (until it becomes a habit)?
The more specific you can be with your answers, the better chance you’ll have for success in your capital campaign (or other aspects of your work and life). Give yourself metrics and deadlines whenever possible to help you build on your success.
The answers may not come quickly or be obvious at first. Or they may strike like lightening, giving you a literal jolt. If you’re struggling to find your one thing, Keller suggests brainstorming a list of 100 ideas and seeing if one thing on your list might be the one.
Easier Said Than Done — Make it Personal and Achievable
Sometimes the one thing is easier said than done. So it’s important to settle on the right one thing for you.
For example, if I don’t eat sugary snacks, then I’ll lose weight. No thanks! That clearly must not be MY one thing. But it might very well work for some people.
The point is that your one thing doesn’t need to be my one thing. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you, and vice-versa.
Commit to One Thing Right Now
So, give it a little bit of thought. Try to come up with one thing you can commit to that will help you move the needle in your campaign (or another aspect of your life). I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.
Whatever your one thing is, stick with it for 60 days and watch your results soar!